What are the life-threatening problems caused by diabetes?

Diabetes can lead to both life-threatening and life-altering problems. They include blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations and nerve damage. Many of these problems can be avoided by adopting healthy lifestyle habits and taking steps to monitor and control your diabetes. Consult your doctor for more information about diabetes.
Diabetes-related emergencies can be caused by glucose levels that are either too high or too low. The most common condition is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. This is a problem for those taking insulin or oral diabetes medications (sulfonylureas). Dangerously high levels of blood glucose can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in people with type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes can develop hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) if glucose levels climb too high. DKA is rare in people with type 2 diabetes; HHS is rare in people with type 1diabetes. Both DKA and HHS can lead to coma, shock, respiratory distress, and death, if not treated promptly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.